WBA 'Super', WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr (33-1) spoke with the world's media for the first time this week at the official fighter's arrival party at the Centria Mall in Riyadh immediately ahead of his eagerly-awaited rematch with challenger Anthony Joshua (22-1), to kick off fight week in Saudi Arabia.
The Mexican-American told Sky Sports, "I remain humble even though I'm the champion. I still respect the guy, you know, there's no hard feelings.
"If I see him... I wanted to see him too, I wanted to shake his hand, I wanted to give respects and all that, but I guess he didn't want to see me."
Ruiz Jr won the hoard of titles from Joshua in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history on June 1 at Madison Square Garden. A stand-in opponent, with little oover three weeks to prepare, Ruiz Jr climbed off the canvas in round three to deck AJ four times before the ref called off the contest in the seventh round.
The 30-year-old 'Destroyer' now aims to keep those belts in the rematch.
"It's really important, you know, thats why we sacrifice, thats why we in the gym, that's why we leave to camp away from our families, so I think thats the dedication and motivation that I have to have inside the ring on December 7.
"We're ready, we're prepared and we're excited for fight night."
Everything you need to know about Andy Ruiz Jr vs Anthony Joshua HERE
Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 tops a huge night of boxing in Saudi Arabia.
Russian powerhouse Alexander Povetkin (35-2, 24 KOs) returns from his August triumph over Hughie Fury to take on USA’s fast-rising Heavyweight talent Michael Hunter (18-1, 12 KOs) in an Eliminator for the WBA World Title, Brixton Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) takes on Poland’s former World Title challenger Mariusz Wach (35-5, 19 KOs), undefeated Croatian Heavyweight star Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) steps up to face former World Title challenger Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) as he puts his WBC International Championship on the line for the third time, Tom Little (10-7, 3 KOs) will be targeting a huge Heavyweight upset as he takes on former Amateur Word Champion Mahammadrasul Majidov (1-0, 1 KO), and the talented young duo of Leeds Super-Bantamweight Hopey Price (1-0) and Los Angeles Super-Middleweight Diego Pacheco (7-0, 6 KOs) will also be eager to impress at Diriyah Arena, Zuhayr Al Qahtani (7-0) clashes with Omar Dusary (7-0-1, 1 KO) for the WBC Middle East Lightweight Title and UAE Lightweight Majid Al Naqbi (3-0, 1 KO) aims to improve his perfect record.
The Clash On The Dunes presented by PIF forms part of the Diriyah Season, an epic month of sports which kicked off with Formula E at the weekend, the Diriyah Tennis Cup featuring eight of the best men’s players on the planet, and the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, an elite competition with Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifying points on the line.
The Diriyah Season is also supported by the Diriyah Music Festival with huge concerts taking place around the event. On December 6, the night before the Clash On The Dunes, major artists who are yet to be announced will perform. So far artists such as Imagine Dragons, DJ Alan Walker, Clean Bandit and Maluma have performed to 40,000 concert goers.
Tickets for all of the Diriyah Season’s spectacular events, concerts and entertainment will be available at www.diriyahseason.sa. Follow Diriyah Season’s news and announcements on the official social media pages on twitter and Instagram @diriyahseason.